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November 11, 2008

Veteran’s Memorial, Soldier Field

U.S. President-elect Barack Obama and paraplegic Iraq war veteran Tammy Duckworth place a wreath at a veterans memorial in Chicago November 11, 2008. Duckworth is director of the department of veteran affairs for Illinois. REUTERS/        (UNITED STATES)CHICAGO - NOVEMBER 11:  (AFP OUT) U.S. President-elect Barack Obama (L) and Gulf War veteran Tammy Duckworth honor America's veterans on Veterans Day at the Bronze Soldiers Memorial November 11, 2008 in Chicago, Illinois, The national holiday, held on the anniversary of the end of World War I, honors all those who have served their country in the military.  (Photo by Tannen Maury-Pool/Getty Images)

U.S. President-elect Barack Obama (C), paraplegic Iraq war veteran Tammy Duckworth and a Secret Service agent (R) walk away after placing a wreath at a veterans memorial in Chicago November 11, 2008. Duckworth is director of the department of veteran affairs for Illinois. REUTERS/Kevin Lamarque          (UNITED STATES)I was thinking these scenes could not have been possible before the election — with all the intensity, anticipation and unabashed salesmanship — and that they preview at least one thread of the tone and feel that’s coming.

Through eight years of Bush, there was never a political moment nearly this silent, this personal and thoughtful, this slowed down. Obama and Tammy Duckworth are home. They are not in a rush. They are in public space, yet alone.

What Obama restores here is something Bush suppressed in his assault on the American psyche. It’s stillness, and poetry.

(image 1: Kevin Lamarque/Reuters. image 2 & 3: Tannen Maury/Getty. Barack Obama and paraplegic Iraq war veteran Tammy Duckworth, Director of the Illinois Department of Veterans Affairs and a member of the Illinois National Guard, place a wreath at Bronze Soldiers Memorial in Chicago November 11, 2008. )

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